Sandy is an Ancient Parish in the county of Bedfordshire.

Alternative names: Sandy with Girtford

Sandy is a populous village, part of which lies on the great North Road near Girtford Bridge over the Ivel. It never possessed a market, however, for the ancient east Bedfordshire market towns of Biggleswade and Potton are adjacent.

While there is no specific mention of epidemics, the register seems to chronicle the results of more than one visitation. In 1559 the 26 burials in January to April and 31 in December to March suggest plague, prevailing perhaps for over a year. Minor outbreaks may possibly lie behind the somewhat numerous burials in the summers of 1546 and 1648 (London suffered in 1547 to 48), the autumn or 1557, the spring of 1597, the winter of 1714 to 15 and the spring of 1777

Other places in the parish include: Stratford, Gritford, Beeston Green, and Beeston.

Parish church: St. Swithin

Parish registers begin:

  • Parish registers: 1538
  • Bishop’s Transcripts: 1602

Nonconformists include: Baptist, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Independent, Primitive Methodists and Wesleyan Methodist.

Table of Contents

Adjacent Parishes

Parish History


The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales 1870

SANDY, a village, a township, and a parish, in Biggleswade district, Beds. The village stands on the river Ivel and on the Great Northern railway, at the intersection of the Bedford and Cambridge railway, and on the Roman road from St. Albans to Godmanchester, 3 miles N N W of Biggleswade; is supposed to occupy the site of the Roman station Salinæ; and has a post-office under St. Neots, and a r. station with telegraph.

The township contains also the village of Gritford, and the hamlets of Beeston-Green and Stratford; and comprises 3,800 acres. Real property, £8,587. Pop. in 1851, 1,565; in 1861, 1,754. Houses, 380.

The parish includes also 210 acres of Beeston hamlet, with a pop. of 364 in 1861, and 81 houses. The property is much subdivided. The Hasells, Cæsar’s Camp, and Swiss Cottage are chief residences. Market-gardening is largely carried on.

Two ancient camps, one of them called Cæsar’s, and covering about 30 acres, are in the vicinity of the village; and many Roman coins, urns, and other relics have been found. S. Warren is a meet for the Cambridgeshire hounds.

The living is a rectory in the diocese of Ely. Value, £769. Patrons, the Executors of the late F. Pym, Esq. The church is cruciform, with W tower; and was restored in 1860, at a cost of £3,300.

There are Independent and Wesleyan chapels at Beeston-Green, and charities £90.

Source: The Imperial Gazetteer of England & Wales [Wilson, John M]. A. Fullarton & Co. N. d. c. [1870-72].

Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales 1850

Sandy with Girtford, 2½ m. N. W. Biggleswade. P. 1906

Source: Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850

A Topographical Dictionary of England 1848

SANDY (St. Swithin), a parish, in the union of Biggleswade, partly in the hundred of Wixamtree, but chiefly in that of Biggleswade, county of Bedford, 3¾ miles (N. by W.) from Biggleswade; containing, with the hamlet of Girtford and part of Beeston, 1906 inhabitants, of whom 921 are in the township of Sandy.

The parish is situated on the river Ivel, and comprises 4026 acres, of which 1838 are arable. The soil is good, and from its sandy nature, cucumbers are cultivated in the open air in such abundance that Covent-Garden market, London, is chiefly supplied with that vegetable from this place; carrots and other vegetables are also grown. The wood is chiefly elm and fir. The substratum contains a curious coarse sandstone, resembling in some degree a conglomerate, and containing a considerable portion of iron and fossil-wood, with small pebbles, in which yellow quartz predominates.

The living is a rectory, valued in the king’s books at £32. 2. 11.; net income, £769; patron, F. Pym, Esq. The tithes were commuted for land and money payments, under acts of inclosure, in 1789 and 1798; the glebe altogether comprises 323 acres. The church is an ancient structure in the early English style.

Galley Hill, here, is the site of the Roman station Salinæ, which commanded another station at Chesterfield, a piece of ground still so called near the village, through which passed the great road from Baldock, in Herts, across this county into Cambridgeshire. The ramparts, which inclose an area of 30 acres, are surrounded by a deep fosse, and in the centre is a mount, probably thrown up for the preetorium. At some distance, on the other side of the valley, are the remains of what is called Cæsar’s camp.

Several Roman urns, some coins, and fragments of beautiful red pottery, have been discovered at Chesterfield; the pottery, which was ornamented with figures, has been deemed to be the ancient Samian ware.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of England by Samuel Lewis 1848


Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales 1850

Beeston, 3 m. N.W. Biggleswade. P. 406

Source: Leonard’s Gazetteer of England and Wales; Second Edition; C. W. Leonard, London; 1850

The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales 1840

Beeston, a hamlet, partly in the parish of Northill, partly in that of Sandy, hund. of Wixamtree, county of Bedford; 2½ miles north-north-west of Biggleswade, on the post-road to Huntingdon. Pop., in 1801, 180; in 1831, 258. Houses 50. Acres 210. Other returns with the parish.

Source: The Parliamentary Gazetteer of England and Wales; A Fullarton & Co. Glasgow; 1840.

A Topographical Dictionary of Great Britain and Ireland 1833

Beeston, co. Bedford.

P.T. Biggleswade (45) 3m NNW. Pop. (with six adjoining hamlets) 455.

A township, partly in the parish of Northhill, and partly in that of Sandy, in the hundred of Wixamtree.

Source: A Topographical Dictionary of Great Britain and Ireland by John Gorton. The Irish and Welsh articles by G. N. Wright; Vol. II; London; Chapman and Hall, 186, Strand; 1833

Parish Registers

Sandy Parish Registers 1538-1812

Sandy Parish Registers 1538-1812 Bedfordshire parish registers by Bedfordshire (England); Emmison, F. G. (Frederick George), 1907-1995, editor –

Parish Records

FamilySearch Catalog

England, Bedfordshire, Sandy – Census ( 1 )
Census returns for Sandy, 1841-1891
Author: Great Britain. Census Office

England, Bedfordshire, Sandy – Church records ( 3 )
Bishop’s transcripts for Sandy, 1602-1877
Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Sandy (Bedfordshire)

Churchwarden and overseer records, ca. 1400, 1804-1880
Author: Sandy (Bedfordshire)

Parish registers for Sandy, 1538-1933
Author: Church of England. Parish Church of Sandy (Bedfordshire)

England, Bedfordshire, Sandy – Church records – Indexes ( 1 )
Parish register printouts of Sandy, Bedfordshire, England

England, Bedfordshire, Sandy – Land and property ( 1 )
Documents deposited by Messrs. E. T. Leeds Smith, solicitors, Sandy

England, Bedfordshire, Sandy – Manors – Court records ( 1 )
Court records, 1560-1919
Author: Manor of Sandy. Court (Bedfordshire)

England, Bedfordshire, Sandy – Poorhouses, poor law, etc. ( 1 )
Churchwarden and overseer records, ca. 1400, 1804-1880
Author: Sandy (Bedfordshire)

England, Bedfordshire, Sandy – Taxation ( 1 )
Land tax assessments for Sandy, 1797-1949
Author: Bedfordshire (England). County Council

FamilySearch – Birth Marriage & Death records, Census, Migration & Naturalization and Military records – Free


Kelly’s Directory of the Wine and Spirit Trades, with which are included Brewers and Maltsters 1884

Marked thus * are Small Brewers who brew the beer they sell.


Hop Merchant & Maltster
Powers John

Wine & Spirit Merchant
Wright George Girtford bridge


Brooke William

Source: The Post office directory of the brewers and maltsters [afterw.] Kelly’s directory of the wine and spirit trades, with which are included brewers and maltsters By Kelly’s directories, ltd. 1884


OS Grid ReferenceTL1655449490 (all-numeric format: 516555 249490)

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  • County: Bedfordshire
  • Civil Registration District: Biggleswade
  • Probate Court: Court of the Archdeaconry of Bedford
  • Diocese: Pre-1837 – Lincoln, Post-1836 – Ely
  • Rural Deanery: Shefford
  • Poor Law Union: Biggleswade
  • Hundred: Biggleswade; Wixamtree
  • Province: Canterbury

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